Sahir House Responds to news of ‘cured’ HIV patient

Earlier this month, a study revealed a remarkable breakthrough in the treatment of HIV – a patient ‘cured’ of the virus using medication alone.

The 34-year-old, who was first diagnosed in 2012, has shown no evidence of remaining HIV after more than 15 months off antiretrovirals, according to tests to date.

The results were revealed in a study presented on 7 July at the International AIDS conference 2020, which explained how the man was given a relatively inexpensive medicine called Nicotinamide – a form of Vitamin B – that is commonly used to treat skin cancer.  Of five people treated in the study, he is the only one to have been ‘cured’.

According to the study, the man was put on standard ARV treatment two months after his diagnosis, before taking part in the clinical trial in which he received standard ARTs and the HIV drugs Dolutegravir and Marivoc, as well as Nicotinamide.

Prior to this case only three people have been considered to have probably been cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown, Adam Castillejo and an unnamed German. All three were cancer patients who needed bone marrow transplants to replace their immune-system cells with non-cancerous ones. During this treatment doctors took the opportunity to ensure the replacement cells were largely HIV-immune – a difficult, potentially dangerous and expensive procedure.

Speaking about the news, Serena Cavanagh, Health Promotion Lead at Sahir House said: “Sahir House has been supporting the HIV community for over 35 years and welcomes the news of such an amazing story. This individual’s case could lead to some hopeful advances in discovering a cure for HIV. 

“At a local level highlighting HIV in the media gives us an opportunity to educate people about what’s happening with the work around HIV.  It is a chance to publicise what campaigns people can support, to increase the uptake of HIV testing, highlight the importance of knowing your HIV status and promote the ongoing campaigns for free access to PrEP.

“We would also hope that putting the spotlight on HIV encourages people to improve their knowledge about HIV which in turn reduces the prejudice that people living with HIV still experience.

“We need to stay focused on our ongoing work around HIV prevention and education in Merseyside and in the UK. We are engaged in many networks both nationally and globally and keep up to date with the progress that is made in all areas of research, whether a cure or the amazing advances being made with HIV medication.

“When reporting such stories we also want to make sure everyone has the correct information. Talk to a HIV specialist nurse/doctor if you want to know more about the drug talked about in this story – Nicotinamide.

“For people living with HIV today, we continue to share the facts that when you are on effective HIV medication and your viral load is undetectable you cannot pass on HIV.”

Sahir House, provides support services for people living with and affected by HIV in Merseyside and delivers HIV awareness training courses.  

The charity also coordinates the Merseyside World AIDS Day Planning group which raises the profile of World AIDS Day and National HIV Testing Week by bringing together local professionals and supporters to mutually work together to provide a range of HIV related health promotion events and activities, please contact them if you would like to be added to this group.

Find Support

Sahir House – – 0151 237 3989
Access to PrEP –

For HIV testing on Merseyside you will need to contact your local clinic, some may offer a triage system, others maybe using postal kits.


Sexual Health Halton – 0192 875 3217      


Sexual Health Knowsley – 0151 244 3580     


Abacus Sexual Health Clinics, Liverpool – 0151 247 6500
Armistead Centre, Liverpool – 0151 247 6560
Brook Liverpool – 0151 207 4000
Liverpool Centre for Sexual Health – 0151 706 2620                 


Sefton Sexual Health Service – 0169 565 6550    

St Helens

St Helens Sexual Health clinics – 0174 464 6473


Sexual Health Wirral – 0300 123 5474
Brook Wirral – 0151 123 5474

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LCR Pride Foundation is a registered charity in England & Wales, no 1185167. Registered Company 11754074.